The International Alliance of Waste Pickers is a union of waste picker organizations representing more than 460,000 workers across 34 countries
Supported by Logo WIEGO


January 16, 2012

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The number of ragpickers in Pakistan is on the rise due to growing poverty, hunger and joblessness. Presently more than 35,000 ragpickers, the majority of them children, earn their livelihood by lifting some 3,000 tons of garbage daily, out of 8,000 tons of litter generated by the city.

It is said that these rag pickers are amongst the most neglected segment of society, suffering from tuberculosis, asthma, cough, skin diseases, allergies and other contagious diseases. Scavenger children living on the streets of Pakistan [of whom many are Afghan refugees] have no access to health, education and juvenile justice.

One child relates: “the police often pick us up and beat us under suspicion of drug-trafficking, while people in [wealthy] areas do not allow us to pass through their streets, saying we smell bad,” a teenage ragpicker said. Criminals and contractors often snatch our earnings, he added. Read “Number of Ragpickers in Pakistan rises due to growing poverty & hunger”